NJ’s South Korean Community Disturbed by North’s Missile Launch

NJTV News | July 12, 2017 | Politics
At roundtable with Rep. Pascrell, some attendees wish President Trump would do more to condemn North Korea’s actions

North Korea’s successful firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear payload hasn’t just raised tensions globally. It also has New Jersey’s sizable South Korean community worried — like 16-year-old Cresskill resident Jae Lee, whose family lives in Seoul, the South Korean capital that’s only 25 miles from the border.

“We have conversations often, through phone calls and text messages,” Lee said.

Lee joined other residents of Bergen County’s sizable South Korean community at a roundtable discussion with Congressman Bill Pascrell, telling him how disappointed they were that President Donald Trump decided not to lead the G20 nations in a resolution against North Korea.

“The whole world is concerned, not only U.S. people. The whole world is concerned about that,” said Duk Lee of Hackensack.

Pascrell said that roughly 30,000 U.S. troops are stationed at the Korean border. He applauded the joint U.S. South Korean military show of force in response to North Korea’s missile launch but said, a diplomatic solution’s better than a military one.

“We are prepared for combat. We are not prepared for diplomacy. In fact, the state department’s budget has been cut,” said Pascrell.

Pascrell also criticized the president’s friendly dealings with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, especially after Russia vetoed a UN resolution condemning another North Korea missile test in April.

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